SA vintner tests the waters in Slovenia
Looking for an investment opportunity beyond the borders of South Africa? Slovenia might just be the answer. Pieter de Waal spoke to Glenneis Kriel about part-time wine production in this beautiful Central European country.
Planted pasture cuts drought risk for stud breeder
To cope with new challenges that arose during the recent drought, Johannes and Marijke Botha of Bodeel Angus Stud in the Free State decided to stop grain production and instead concentrate fully on producing beef cattle on planted pasture. Annelie Coleman reports.
Nampo Virtual 2020: what participants can expect
For the first time since 1967, Grain SA’s annual Nampo Harvest Day had to be cancelled this year due to the national lockdown restrictions imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Annelie Coleman reports.
BUSHMEAT HUNTING: a threat to wildlife
While popular in many African countries, bushmeat hunting and consumption is a major threat to many large species of wildlife in protected areas, write Julia van Velden et al. However, there is a solution to this problem, which requires partnership between government and communities.
How To Improve Seedling Trays
As mentioned in one of my previous articles (see FW, 24 July), polystyrene seedling trays are made by heating small polystyrene beads in a mould; they expand to fill the mould and thereby form the tray. The more pellets that are placed in the mould, the denser and stronger the seedling tray.
Essential Oils: A Balm For Emerging Farmers
Qobo Qobo Essential Oils, a non-profit organisation, has teamed up with South African Breweries to establish an essential oil crop venture in the impoverished Keiskammahoek area of the Eastern Cape. The project promises to become self-sustaining within a few years, writes Mike Burgess.
How To Grow Healthy Food Vertically In A Small Space
An innovative vertical growing system makes it possible to grow fresh, healthy produce without owning a plot. James Dick, the inventor of the HiGro Tower Garden System, spoke to Jeandré van der Walt about his vertical-growing method.
How Omnia Turned The Tide
Diversified chemicals group Omnia Holdings has rebounded. Its results for the year ended 31 March 2020 showed an operating profit of R789 million, up from R24 million in 2019. Headline earnings per share were positive, net debt was down, and R2,2 billion in cash was generated. CEO Seelan Gobalsamy, who took office last year, spoke to Sabrina Dean.
Debate On Live Sheep Exports From South Africa Intensifies
Agricultural organisations in favour of live sheep exports by sea have welcomed the recent all-clear verdict of veterinary health experts on Kuwaiti export company Al Mawashi’s premises in the Eastern Cape. Meanwhile, as the controversy surrounding these live exports rages on, more organisations are expressing their opposition to the practice. Lloyd Phillips reports.
Middle Class Wants Meat, But The Rich Want Alternatives
The latest 10-year agricultural outlook by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts that income growth in middle-income countries will see consumers transform their diets from staples to higher-value products, such as fats and animal-based protein. Meanwhile, environmental and health concerns in high-income countries are expected to support a transition from animal-based protein towards alternative sources.
Sweet potato and roasted peanut soup
Affordable and delicious, this soup will provide a hearty meal on a cold winter’s evening while delighting your taste buds. Anita Cilliers, who submitted the recipe, says the only extra it needs to be served with is a generous slice of your favourite bread.
TRACEABILITY: BEYOND THE TAG
Any farmer who thinks that a tag in the ear represents a traceability system for a beef herd is far off the mark; it simply links the animal to a production unit. A farm or feedlot should have good management practices across the entire production system, writes Dr. Danie Odendaal, a veterinary herd health consultant and director of Veterinarian Network
Stokvel concept offers hope to young farmers
Brought together through necessity by severe and ongoing drought, a group of farmers from Kuruman, Northern Cape, established an unusual stokvel in 2016 to assist each other with the sharing of resources. Thapelo Kgopodithate, the founder of the Makawana Farmers’ Stokvel initiative, spoke to Siyanda Sishuba about the group’s achievements.
Overberg farmers unite to conserve Renosterveld
Farmers in the Overberg wheat belt are working together to conserve one of the planet’s most threatened habitats. In return, they are getting much-needed veld-management support, writes Dr.Odette Curtis-Scott, director of the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust.
No one locks this agripreneur down!
Lengau Mothiane has just signed on another 10 employees to handle the workload at his farmer support services business, Horizon Southern Group. Sabrina Dean spoke to him about his journey.
New Developments In Post-Harvest Technology
Improvements in post-harvest technology have not only helped improve pack-out percentages for fresh produce growers, thus increasing profitability, but also resulted in less food waste. TOMRA, which specialises in post-harvest solutions, has debuted a number of new technologies this year
Planning For Precision Irrigation
Precision irrigation requires a system designed with all your resources and production goals in mind, with the aim of ensuring optimal production.
Benefits Of A Germination Room
One of the crucial factors in seedling production is achieving high and uniform germination.
Canola: The Crop That Requires Perfect Planning
Melt van der Westhuizen of Moorreesburg holds the South African record for the highest canola yield ever produced. He spoke to Glenneis Kriel about his production methods.
Why Africa's Food Supply Needs A Regional Approach
By disrupting international supply chains, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered much debate about the need for deglobalization. This presents an ideal opportunity for Africa to explore the regionalization of agribusiness on the continent, writes Louis van Ravesteyn, head of Agri-Business Pan Africa within the Personal and Business Banking division at Standard Bank Group.
Plans to revive SA's groundnut industry
Due to drought and a lack of new cultivars, the country’s groundnut industry is in a precarious position. North West producer Lourens de Kock and Adri Botha, chairperson of the South African Groundnut Forum, spoke to Annelie Coleman about what needs to be done to turn the tide.
The many benefits of good tyre traction
Hennie Hattingh is responsible for original equipment sales at the Johannesburg branch of a major Southern African tyre and tube distributor. Stehan Cloete spoke to him about the effect of tyre pressure and tractor ballasting on fuel efficiency and productivity.
Sweet thorn encroachment in the Eastern Cape
A number of woody encroacher species are expanding both their distribution and density in the Eastern Cape. Sweet thorn (Vachellia karroo), the most common of these, detrimentally affects the quality of grazing in the province, writes independent agricultural consultant Dr Louis du Pisani.
Beefmasters produce heavy weaners despite drought
Coenraad Viljoen, who ran the Josephus Beefmaster Stud on Sunny Slopes near East London, said that strict selection criteria had paid off in the long run.
The Importance Of Maintaining Reproductive Health In A Herd
Fourth-generation farmer Gerhard Grobler says he has been able to achieve better results from his beef cattle herd after introducing crossbreeding. But, he adds, South Africa’s beef producers need to start managing animal health more proactively. Pieter Dempsey reports.
How A Community Is Keeping Hope Alive
The drought of the past eight years has transformed the Sutherland district into an austere and desolated landscape, almost lunar-like in its bleakness. Despite the devastation, the community here has decided to do all it can to survive, and help others survive, until the rain comes again. Annelie Coleman reports.
Aardvarks Suffer In Extended Drought
It is not only livestock that are threatened during multi-year droughts; wildlife, too, can succumb to the stress. Dr Nora Weyer and other researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand have found that aardvarks’ feeding in the daytime during extended drought may be a sign that they are starving.
Adapt To The Covid-19 World, Or Die
COVID-19 has not only cost lives and livelihoods; it has changed consumer behaviour and buying patterns. To protect their businesses, farmers need to adapt to new market realities.
Wine Farmers To Fight Ban In Court
Government’s recent decision to reinstate the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages is expected to bring an already struggling wine industry to its knees, with some farmers feeling that not enough has been done by representative bodies to protect them. Jeandré van der Walt reports.
Healthy Food Is Becoming Increasingly Unaffordable
The latest edition of the ‘State of food security and nutrition in the world’ has found that the number of people affected by hunger globally has been slowly on the rise since 2014. The report, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, estimates that almost 690 million people went hungry in 2019, an increase of almost 10% over the past five years. The high costs and low affordability of healthy and nutritious diets also continue to contribute to the malnutrition of billions of people.